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Short fasting to control inflammation

Nowadays there are different forms of short fasting that are becoming more and more common. Regardless the motives a person can have to fast, it’s already known that long fasting lowers the metabolism, while short ones activate the metabolism, reduce inflammation and facilitate the control of extra weight.

There are various forms of fasting: "time-restricted" where you can only eat on specific hours of the day, intermittent fasts with for example one day of abstinence per week, and the so-called “semi-fasting” in which you can get a maximum of 600 calories per day during 5-6 consecutive days.

Based on our clinical experience, we recommend the overnight short fast. This abstinence consists on fasting from 15-18 hours, 2 or 3 times per week, during your sleep. In practice it’s having breakfast, lunch, a healthy “snack” and then you can only drink water (infusions, tea or coffee without sugar of course) until the next day’s breakfast. In other words it’s just going to bed without dinner. Simple right? And guess what, it is really effective! Its secret: you’re sleeping while doing it! Yes you read correctly, most of the benefits of this fasting are due to controlled insulin peaks during night hours.

For years, based on some convictions that emerged from the treatment of diabetes, it was mistakenly thought that we should have 3 main meals per day, plus in between snacks to kill hunger. Unfortunately this led to an increase in obesity, and even in diabetic patients, it resulted counterproductive since short or intermittent fasting can start controlling the disease.  

In fact, this form of fasting activates the metabolism and mobilization of fats, rather than depressing them. There are several important molecules involved in the process (norepinephrine, melatonin, growth hormone, etc) and as you can imagine there are diverse regulatory mechanisms that manage carbohydrates, fats and inflammatory cytokines in your body.

Here we’d like to highlight the importance of short fasting as an anti-inflammatory measure. Its relevance is major not only because of its direct consequences on the aesthetic level, but because of its actions against “inflammaging” that can derive in degenerative diseases; including cancer. As a matter of fact, in 2016 a group of researchers demonstrated that prolonging the length of the nightly fasting interval - a simple, nonpharmacologic strategy - could reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Amazing right?!

The home take message is: it’s important to understand on individual bases what you should eat (based on the results of the BioMarkers Food Inflammation Test) but also when to eat. In this way you’ll get a synergistic approach to combat food related problems. So… shall we skip dinner tonight?